CATO Podcast

We believe Tactics are a science, and the Art is in how we apply those tactics. Members of the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) interview a variety of guests and discuss lessons learned, the evolution of tactics, and other contemporary issues facing law enforcement.

Episode 038 - Blast Analytics and Your Brain

February 4th, 2022

Neuroscientist Dr. James Engall, co-founder and President of Blast Analytics and Mitigation Inc., sits down with Brent and me to discuss the results of BAam360's research and mitigation with the Navy Seals, how they are bringing about awareness and mitigation strategies related to blast exposure in the military, and why it led them to develop Operations Blue Shield where they leverage their knowledge to help the law enforcement community.

There are a lot of layers to these issues, and the circles these folks travel in continue to overlap with CATO. We can foresee this becoming a partnership that can help mitigate these types of risks for those in our profession. For the record, James Engall is a doctor, and we are talking about medical issues, so if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed, please seek medical help and talk to your doctor.

We will be posting additional information on the website and in the show notes. As always, I hope you enjoy the show and see the value in the work these folks have done with the military and how it can save law enforcement lives.


Operation Blue Shield Promo

US NAVY Brain Health

Frank's PSA

GOFUNDME: Operation Blue Shield Campaign

GOFUNDME: LEO Concussion Prevention Program

Episode 037 - AB481 Military Equipment Legislation for California

January 14th, 2022

Marcus and Brent sit down with a panel of experts to discuss California Assembly AB481, affectionately known as the Military Equipment Bill. Panel members have spoken with the folks from Lexipol as well as other attorneys and experts throughout the state and come together to discuss the major components of the law, including some of the poorly written and unclear portions. The group also offers suggestions on the intent of the law and what you can do to ensure you and your agency remain in compliance. While this group does represent a variety of experience and expertise, and they have vetted their opinions with several legal experts, you should consult your agency's legal team for their interpretation of the law.

Panel members include CATO President Brent Stratton, who serves as an Assistant Chief in the Central Valley with a background in the tactical teams, internal affairs, and DOJ oversight. Panel member Adam Sharki is a Lieutenant for one of the largest cities in Southern California and has a variety of experiences at his agency and serves as our Demonstration Response Chair. Panel Member Kris Jenny is a Sergeant at a small to medium size agency in Northern California and is charged with the AB481 compliance for his agency. Kris is an SLP2 graduate, a member of the teaching cadre, and was recently appointed to the CATO Board of Directors. Travis Norton is a Lieutenant in Southern California who is a lethal force expert and chairs the CATO After Action Review Team.

Episode 036 - An Introduction to the Book ’Sound Doctrine’ and Why You Need to Read this Book and What It Can Do For You

December 24th, 2021
Brent Stratton, Marcus Sprage and Adam Sharki discuss Sid Heal's book, 'Sound Doctrine'. They discuss what they like about the book and why they feel it should be the cornerstone for the foundation of tactical learning. This will be the first of several episodes that break down 'Sound Doctrine' and how you can apply it to resolve today's tactical problems.

Episode 035 - Is your demonstration response and use of force policies and practices in compliance with AB 48? Here’s what you need to know now

December 10th, 2021

Marcus is joined by CATO SWAT Team Leader Cadre members Kenny Brayton and Kris Jenny, CATO's After Action Review Chair Travis Norton, and CATO's Demonstration Response Chair Adam Sharki for a panel discussion on the component parts of California Assembly Bill 48 and what you need to know to ensure that your demonstration response and use of force is within policy. We'll discuss what you can do to make sure your demonstration response program's training, documentation, and deployments are consistent with this new law.

Episode 034 - A Shotgun Conversation with Sgt. Tom Datro, Host of the Policing in America Podcast

November 26th, 2021
Marcus sits down with Sergeant Tom Datro, host of the POLICING IN AMERICA podcast. Sergeant Datro works for one of the largest police departments on the West Coast and created his podcast to address difficult challenges facing law enforcement today. In this episode of the CATO podcast, Marcus and Tom discuss a variety of topics such as de-escalation, leadership, culture, the importance of empathy throughout the organization, and several other challenges facing our profession. Learn more about Tom's podcasts at

Episode 033 - When Your Training Doesn‘t Prepare You for the Fight

October 15th, 2021

Jeff Felts, from Center Mass, is our guest on the latest episode of the CATO Podcast with Marcus Sprague and Kris Jenny, CATO Training Cadre member. As a young sniper, Jeff found himself well trained, but poorly prepared for a very dynamic hostage situation. This setback sent him on a journey to improve his training and resulted in the formation of Center Mass, the National Patrol Rifle Conference and Championship, and the patrol rifle utilization survey. Each year, participants from around the country compete in a variety of patrol rifle scenarios taken from the streets of America. 

Jeff retired from law enforcement after serving for twenty years as a Police Officer and Sergeant in suburban Metro Detroit. He is also a veteran of the Army, where he was an MP and in the reserves as an Infantry Drill Sergeant. He also served for 12 years in a part-time capacity with the Western Wayne County Special Operations Team as an Operator, Sniper, and Sniper Team Leader. He holds an associate degree in criminal justice, a bachelor's degree in business administration, and is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Jeff is a certified special weapons and tactics instructor, tactical rifle instructor, sniper instructor, pistol instructor, and President of Center Mass, Inc., and serves as an Advisory Board Member of the American Sniper Association (ASA).


Links of interest:

CMI website

NPRC main page

Patrol Rifle Utilization Survey

CMI Training info

CMI FB page:

NPRC FB page: 


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Episode 032 - The Body Keeps the Score with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

October 1st, 2021

We don't often talk about one of the greatest threats facing our profession. This adversary is hard to name, difficult to identify, and is rarely talked about openly, yet each year it kills more and more dedicated men and women in law enforcement and the military. We all agree these professions leave a mark when you're done. For some, this mark can cost them their happiness, family, and even their life. In an effort to find the best information and tools to address this adversary, we reached out to Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a pioneer in the field of PTSD research and treatment, a world-renowned psychiatrist, author, researcher, and educator. He’s been researching post-traumatic stress since the 1970s, its effects on the body, and how a variety of modalities can reduce those impacts. He is the author of the bestselling 'The Body Keeps the Score,' which we highly recommend that everyone read.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has dedicated his professional life to helping people heal from their traumas, and when we heard about and expressed interest in a brand new 4-week online course on PTSD launching October 20, 2021, Dr. van der Kolk's team graciously offered a limited-time promo code for a discounted rate to our members. CATO is receiving nothing in return for promoting this class, we are not associated with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk or this course in any way, we simply care about our community and want to pass on all resources that can help our community deal with trauma and PTSD. For more information about this 4-week course, and the promo code which expires October 20th, please go to English 4 Week | Bessel van der Kolk, MD..

Joining me as co-host for this episode is Alex West. Alex served multiple tours during his time in the Navy, and led some of the greatest folks our country has to offer through a variety of hot spots around the world. He has dedicated his post-military life to helping veterans and was CATO's keynote speaker at our last annual training conference in San Diego. He also was our guest in podcast episode #3, which we recommend you check out. Alex is truly committed to the CATO Community and joins us today to help veterans and first responders survive the effects of PTSD during and after their careers.


The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma: van der Kolk M.D., Bessel

Episode 031 - Lessons Learned from the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon

September 17th, 2021

Marcus and Brent sit down with retired Alexandria Virginia Captain Tom Panther. Captain Panther, a former SWAT Operator and Commander, was one of the men charged with coordinating the response to the Pentagon attack on 09/11/01. While we hope to never repeat the experiences of 9/11 and the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, there are a lot of lessons to be learned. Panther shares his story and lessons learned from a law enforcement perspective. While he is retired now, the event had a profound impact on his personal and professional life. It also solidified his commitment to a controlled and disciplined response to catastrophic events by utilizing the ICS process. Panther is currently an adjunct faculty member of the TEEX Enhanced Incident Management/Unified Command for All Hazards course, a no-nonsense course packed with practical exercises to prepare students to manage a variety of complex incidents. For more information on that course go to

Episode 030 - Leadership Lessons with Chief Chris Hsiung

September 3rd, 2021

In this podcast episode, Marcus and Brent sit down with Chief Chris Hsiung to discuss lessons in leadership. Hsiung is the Police Chief of the Mountain View Police Department, located in the heart of Silicon Valley CA, and is an internationally recognized speaker and author on the topics of digital strategy, crisis communications, and leadership. In his time with Mountain View PD, Chief Hsiung has held a variety of investigative, tactical, and leadership roles, serving in every division in the organization. He spent 13 years on the Mountain View PD Regional SWAT Team, serving as an assault member, sniper, rappel master, and tactical commander. Chief Hsiung is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program and has a master’s degree in eBusiness Management from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, CA. He also serves in several leadership positions on multiple boards, including committee member on the IACP's Professional Standards, Ethics, and Image CommitteeChair of the California Police Chiefs Association Communications Committee, and as a board member on the Global Advisory Council for the Crisis Ready Institute. 

Episode 029 - Drones, Ghosts, and the Edge of Chaos

August 20th, 2021

Marcus and Kris Jenny sit down with Kris Allshouse, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Regional Training Center, to discuss the current state of drones in law enforcement, what future drone technology may look like in the near future, and their must-attend class 'The Edge of Chaos.' Kris also discusses several essential courses available at LARTC.

Kris Allshouse is a retired Detective Supervisor and POST Master Instructor. He has designed and taught over 70 courses for CA Law Enforcement including the POST ICI Officer Involved Shooting, Homicide, Burglary, Vehicle Theft, and Identity Theft Investigative Courses. Kris was an instructor and curriculum writer for the POST ICI Instructor’s Course, the IDI Leadership Mentoring and Coaching Course, the IDI Advanced Instructor Course, and the Master Instructor Certification Course. His tactical background as a SWAT operator, medic, and waterborne team member culminated in his working as an anti-terrorism consultant and a tactical drone instructor for agencies across the United States.

Kristofer Jenny is a Sergeant at a Northern California police agency and is part of the CATO Team Leader Teaching Cadre. He is a CATO SLP 2 graduate and was instrumental in creating CATO's Critical Incident Management for Supervisors course.

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